March 17, 2020
The American Red Cross is closely monitoring the outbreak of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and following the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
We know this is a stressful time and people want to know what they can do right now to protect themselves and their families. That’s why the Red Cross is highlighting some everyday steps that people in the U.S. can take now. In addition, stay informed about what’s happening in your local community and always follow the directions of state and local authorities.
LIMIT THE SPREAD OF GERMS AND PREVENT INFECTION
The Red Cross recommends the following steps to help prevent the spread of germs during this situation:
– Stay home if you can and avoid gatherings of more than ten people.
– Practice social distancing by keeping a distance of about six feet from others if you must go out in public.
– Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
– Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
– Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; throw used tissues in the trash. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve, not your hands.
– Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, computers, phones, keyboards, sinks, toilets, faucets and countertops.
– If surfaces are dirty, clean them – use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Full information on how to disinfect found here.
– Wear a face mask if you are sick. You should wear a face mask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
According to the CDC, COVID-19 symptoms include fever, shortness of breath and a cough. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Call your doctor for medical advice if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop symptoms.